Despite how confident I look in this photo, the truth is that sometimes I still cry in dressing rooms. It has always been a traumatic experience for me. I would either be upset that something didn't fit at all or didn't fit right. There's nothing more disappointing than falling in love with an item only to find that it doesn't come in your size. It's also alienating to walk into a store that doesn't even acknowledge women over a size 14. The sad truth is that many in store shops, even those that have extended their sizes, do not offer those extended sizes for plus size women to try on in person. After countless mall trips that consisted of being resorted to shoe and bag purchases, I decided to turn to online shopping. I've found numerous stylish pieces online, such as this floral print maxi from ELOQUII. Now, more than ever, online shopping is relevant as the pandemic has resulted in the closure of many brick and mortar stores. However, I was an avid online shopper before this and developed some tips along the way to enhance my experience as a plus size woman. Keep reading to find out my 3 tips for accessing plus size fashion online!
1. Check the Size Chart
Something I learned very quickly was that different retailers will have different measurements for their sizes. I may be a size 14 for one brand and a size 16 for another. To save yourself the hassle of ordering the wrong size and having to exchange it, take your measurements first and match it to the size chart. Over time, you will start to learn your sizes for each brand, but in the beginning, it can be tricky. Also, some brands go by 1X and above, as opposed to 14+, so learn exactly what that means for your body type.
2. Check the Return Policy
Okay, you took your measurements and made sure the size you ordered was right, but when you receive the item, it doesn't fit as well as you hoped. Or maybe you just don't like it on your body type. As a petite woman, sometimes jumpsuits and pants can fit me weird, and if I don't feel like hemming them, I have to return them. Before ordering online, make sure you fully understand the return policy. I highly advise against ordering from any retailer that does not take returns. This is honestly a red flag for me. If a brand is confident in their products, they should happily accept returns in a sensible timeframe. That's another thing, check the timeframe, whether its 14, 30, or 60 days. Also, never take the tags off until you decide that you want to keep the item because many places will require the tags to still be attached.
3. Check Blogs/YouTube
Let's face it: how an item looks on the model is not how it will look on you, especially since many brands still use a size 12 or 14 model only. More brands are starting to be more inclusive in terms of the models that they show, but it's not widespread. I always advocate for following bloggers and YouTubers who have a similar body type to you. A lot of times they will shoot the outfit that you are interested in, offer their insights on sizing, and show you how the piece looks on someone with more curves. There have been many times that I didn't become interested in an outfit until I saw my favorite blogger slaying it. Similarly, they can also let you know if the sizing doesn't work for someone with large arms, a fuller bust, etc.
Once I started shopping online, my world of fashion truly opened up. It has also been a more pleasant experience trying on outfits in the comfort of my home instead of a dressing room where I swear the mirrors always play tricks on me. I hope these tips help if you've been on the fence about shopping online or if you're looking for ways to do it better.
xoxo, Global Midwife
Disclaimer: Paid partnership with ELOQUII. All views are my own. I may make a small commission on links in this post. Thank you for the support!